Industry: Culture and Society
Designation: Film producer, owner
Nayla Al Khaja, the UAE’s first ever female filmmaker, has already made three short features in her brief career.
One of Al Khaja’s films won a prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2007. In addition, the Emirati has also set up her own production company (D-SEVEN), and she also heads up the UAE’s first official film club.
Al Khaja’s career choice coupled with her willingness to tackle taboo subjects has often led to controversy. Her last short film, which was released in 2010, took a look at the issues raised by arranged marriages. In ‘Malal’, a young Emirati couple visit Kerala on a honeymoon that is soured by the wife’s boredom with her new husband. In January she told Arabian Business she thinks she has ‘mellowed’ somewhat. Her first feature — which tells the story of a young Arab girl and a British traveller’s chance meeting in the deserts near Hatta in the 1960s — is currently on the drawing board.